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EU banks providing billions into oil & gas despite the IEA warnings on global warming

Europe’s biggest banks are still pumping billions into the oil & gas sector despite signing up to a landmark net zero initiative

EU banks providing billions into oil & gas despite the IEA warnings on global warming

London, February 15 - Neftegaz.RU. New data from charity ShareAction shows 25 banks have provided around $400 billion in finance to the likes of ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, Shell and BP since 2016.

HSBC tops the table with $59 billion, followed by Barclays with $48 billion and BNP Paribas with $46 billion, according to the non-governmental organisation’s ‘Oil and Gas Expansion’ report.

ShareAction has warned investors about the potential for their cash to become wrapped up in stranded assets as the energy transition accelerates.
The IEA warned last year of the necessity to avoid investments in new oil & gas fields if the world is to have a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

According to the ShareAction, 24 of the companies in its study are members of the UN-convened Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) – the exception is DZ Bank, which is a member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance Germany.
Since joining the alliance last year, those 24 banks have provided $33 billion to oil & gas firms.
Over half of that amount has come from the NZBA’s 4 founding members – HSBC, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank.

ShareAction said that financing oil & gas expansion is a «lose-lose» scenario for banks and their investors.

A Deutsche Bank spokesman said:
  • We have committed to align the operational and attributable emissions from our portfolio with pathways to net-zero by 2050 or sooner
  • This includes measuring and subsequently disclosing the carbon intensity of our loan portfolio and developing and disclosing plans to adjust its footprint in accordance with national and international climate targets by end of this year
A Barclays spokesperson said:
  • We continue to focus on our ambition to become a net zero bank by 2050 and our commitment to align our financing with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement
  • As part of this commitment, we have set a target for a 15% absolute reduction in our financed emissions from Energy, including coal, oil and gas, by 2025
Despite ShareAction’s pledge that banks are funding oil & gas players, many of the companies named in the report are making significant low carbon plays.

Shell and BP were among the big winners in the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round – the latter also forked out hundreds of millions in the equivalent process in England and Wales.
Meanwhile ExxonMobil is using its deep pockets to advance the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS).
BP, Shell, Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil all also have their own commitments in place to become net zero by 2050.

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